Carlton’s spearhead Harry McKay will almost certainly miss the AFL’s clash with Port Adelaide with a shoulder injury as he clings to a lead in the Coleman medal race.
But in better news for the Blues under fire, midfielder Sam Walsh is set to play this week despite an ankle roll.
McKay and Walsh were both injured in the final quarter of Saturday’s surprise loss to the modest Gold Coast, which dashed Carlton’s hopes of a final appearance.
The result also put more pressure on coach David Teague, with the club’s football department under the spotlight of external scrutiny.
McKay has scored 58 goals this season, ahead of fellow medal contenders Coleman Tom Hawkins and Jack Riewoldt, who each have 47.
Taylor Walker and Josh Bruce sit second in the standings with 48 majors, but will miss the remainder of the season with suspension and injury, respectively.
Carlton’s high performance director Andrew Russell said McKay was “very unlikely” to play against Port Adelaide.
“Harry took a big hit on that AC joint like we saw when it hit the ground,” said Russell.
“He shot pretty badly.
“We did a few scans and it’s very unlikely that he will play this weekend at this point.”
Walsh injured his ankle at the end of the Gold Coast game, sparking initial fears he could have suffered a dreaded syndesmosis injury.
“We weren’t too worried once we saw him he settled in well,” said Russell.
“The analyzes were good and we expect him to play this week.”
Top Blues rookie Zac Williams will miss at least one more game with a hamstring injury, while Will Setterfield (groin) faces a fitness test this week.